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Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast ploughed, And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
Hast reared God's trophies, and his work pursued, While Darwen stream, with blood of Scots imbrued, And Dunbar field, resounds thy praises loud, And Worcester's laureate wreath yet much remains To conquer still; Peace hath her victories No less renowned than War: new foes arise, Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains. Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves, whose Gospel is their maw.
TO SIR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.
VANE, young in years, but in sage counsel old,
The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, repelled The fierce Epirot, and the African bold, Whether to settle peace, or to unfold
The drift of hollow states hard to be spelled; Then to advise how war may best upheld Move by her two main nerves, iron and gold, In all her equipage; besides, to know
Both spiritual power and civil, what each means, What severs each, thou hast learned, which few have done.
The bounds of either sword to thee we owe :
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT.
AVENGE, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old, When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones, Forget not in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold Slain by the bloody Piemontese, that rolled Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway The triple Tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundredfold, who, having learnt thy way,
[ON HIS BLINDNESS.]
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
Who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
[TO MR. LAWRENCE.]
LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire Help waste a sullen day, what may be won From the hard season gaining? Time will run On smoother, till Favonius reinspire The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun. What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
[TO CYRIACK SKINNER.]
CYRIACK, whose grandsire on the royal bench
And what the Swede intend, and what the French. To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; For other things mild Heaven a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
[TO THE SAME.]
CYRIACK, this three years' day these eyes, though clear To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot; Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year, Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask? The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied In Liberty's defence, my noble task, Of which all Europe rings from side to side.
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
Content, though blind, had I no better guide.
[ON HIS DECEASED WIFE.]
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint
And such as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind.
Her face was veiled; yet to my fancied sight Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined So clear as in no face with more delight.
But, oh! as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.
THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE, LIB. I.,
Quis multâ gracilis te puer in rosà,
Rendered almost word for word, without rhyme, according to the Latin measure, as near as the language will permit.
WHAT slender youth, bedewed with liquid odours,
Plain in thy neatness? Oh, how oft shall he
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold;
Who always vacant, always amiable,
Hopes thee, of flattering gales
To whom thou untried seem'st fair! Me, in my vowed
My dank and dropping weeds
[As Milton inserts the original with his translation, as if to challenge comparison, it is right that we should do so too.]